IT Resume Revamp: Senior IT Consultant - InformationWeek

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11/10/2014
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IT Resume Revamp: Senior IT Consultant

Senior IT consultants face unique challenges in keeping resumes concise. Here's how an expert remade one professional's resume, plus tips to polish yours.

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Meet Rohit Thukral, an IT consultant from Portland, Ore., with more than 25 years of experience specializing in management and IT consulting services.

Thukral's career has included stints at Accenture, Unisys, Netscape, and, most recently, Tealeaf Associates, where he has focused on business process improvements, IT strategy, and program governance in the healthcare industry.

He met with Felix Fermin, senior technical recruiter at the IT recruiting firm Mondo, to polish his resume for his next consulting gig. Here's a look at how they reworked it to showcase his achievements, plus tips for other career consultants looking to fine-tune their resumes.

The good
Like many IT consultant resumes that come across Fermin's desk, Thukral's was on the right track. His professional summary featured five bullet points that highlighted his managerial and technical skills, as well as his experience working in international markets, a quality that's important to note because it sets him apart from other management consultants, Fermin said.

[Employers see a talent shortage. Job hunters see a broken hiring process. Read our related article, The IT Talent Shortage Debate.]

Overall, the design of Thukral's resume was on point: His subheads were effective in calling out his work experience, education, and training, and his bullet points -- though numerous -- helped to break out his responsibilities and accomplishments.

[View the original resume.]

Thukral's language was effective, too, Fermin said. He worked in appropriate buzzwords that hiring managers might seek, and he used strong verbs to describe his past experiences.

"His resume was pretty good -- maybe one of the best I've seen in terms of being clear at what he did at every single job," Fermin said. "But there's always room for improvement."

The bad
Like many career consultants, Thukral had a resume that was too long, registering at three full pages, Fermin said.

"People who have spent years consulting think that they need to list every position they've held and every responsibility and accomplishment they've had there," he said. "As a result, consultant resumes tend to be much longer than they should be."

Fermin also said many of Thukral's bullet points under each job focused on responsibilities and tasks, rather than solutions and achievements, which are more important to hiring managers.

"Right now, his resume reads of what he's done, rather than the problems he's solved," Fermin said. "A hiring manager is going to hire you because of a problem they have that they need to fix, which is why it's important to touch on the solutions that you brought to a company."

The better
The first thing Fermin and Thukral focused on was cutting the length of the resume. Fermin suggested that Thukral cut the five bullet points in his professional summary section to three, which he did by eliminating two that contained redundant information.

Thukral and Fermin then worked on cutting down the size of his work experience section.

"A resume that's three pages long isn't horrible, but our goal was to get it to two," Fermin said. "He's a very senior guy, so he had a lot of work experience

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
11/11/2014 | 9:24:22 AM
Re: Tailored resume
@Lorna, Yes -- 2 page limit is ideal. Hiring managers and recruiters typically won't read past the second page.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
11/10/2014 | 4:10:14 PM
Re: Tailored resume
I think these are very good points. Even for non consultants, there are so many errors a person can noticed by themselves. But, if a resume is looked by another person, it can really bring new light to unforeseen issues.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
11/10/2014 | 2:04:02 PM
Re: Tailored resume
I recommend having a "master" resume suitable to send to anyone and then specializing it as needed for roles you're particularly interested in.
TerryB
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TerryB,
User Rank: Ninja
11/10/2014 | 1:08:00 PM
Accomplishments
This is certainly no personal attack on Mr Thukral, he may be a terrific talent. But I've rarely seen a management consultant accomplish anything. They may say "you should do this" but rarely stick around long enough to see if it happens. Success is in the details and people who have to execute it. Could be mgmt consultant had great idea which local business did not have ability to execute. Could be the idea was not very good to start with. I've seen both happen in my 30 year career.

When people hire mgmt consultant, they are usually hiring a company name. As in "idea came from Accenture, it must be great!". But those companies never own the result, you do.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
11/10/2014 | 1:07:39 PM
Re: Tailored resume
Exactly, especially if it makes your resume three pages. I have heard a rule of thumb that no latter how senior one is, two pages is the max. Kristen, is that still the case?
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
11/10/2014 | 11:32:25 AM
Tailored resume
The tailored resume advice seems wise; a consultant could have 3 different resumes that appealed for different types of positions, or for a specific vertical like healthcare. Who says your resume must be one size fits all?
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